For companies considering moving to a new human resources (HR) software system, the process can be daunting. There are many options on the market, all claiming to boost efficiency and improve the employee experience.

However, switching HR software is also fraught with potential pitfalls that can lead to disruption, wasted time and wasted money if not avoided. This guide looks at five of the most common mistakes to steer clear of when
transitioning to new HR technology.

Rushing the Selection Process
The first major error that firms tend to make when choosing software for HR is rushing the selection process and failing to properly assess their needs. Without clearly defining requirements and goals upfront, companies risk choosing a system that ultimately fails to solve their specific HR challenges. To avoid this, take time to thoroughly analyse current workflow, identify pain points and map desired outcomes. Getting employee input via surveys or focus groups can also prove invaluable during this discovery input via surveys or focus groups can also prove invaluable during this discovery phase. Moving too quickly through software demos without digging into how each platform can address top priorities often results in disappointment down the line.

Forgetting about Data Migration
Once a new HR system is selected, the data migration stage is critical yet often overlooked. Legacy databases full of employee, payroll and other essential information must be accurately transferred to the new platform – no small feat depending on the volume and complexity involved. Attempting this without expert guidance or the proper data mapping tools can quickly turn into a time-consuming nightmare. HR teams should thoroughly investigate each prospective vendor’s migration services, technologies and past success moving large data sets. Confirming the software choice handles bi-directional migration is also wise in case a reversal is ever needed.

Skimping on Training
Insufficient end user training is another common stumbling block when transitioning between HR systems. Simply signing onto a new platform and expecting employees to quickly grasp updated workflows and unfamiliar interfaces will almost certainly backfire. Instead, schedule in-depth onboarding, online tutorials and quick reference guides tailored to different user groups from HR staff to managers. Ongoing support forums allow people to ask peers for help after formal training ends. For many, switching HR software means changing engrained habits – proper change management and training helps ease the disruption.

Failing to Test
Before fully launching a new HR technology solution, comprehensive testing in staging environments is an absolute must. However, anxious leaders often push their teams to cut testing short in hopes of realising faster payoff. Later, when bugs, integration issues and other surprises emerge after deployment, organisations must backtrack to fix problems that thorough pilot testing would have uncovered earlier. Set aside adequate test cycles for individual teams and modules while simulating real-world conditions to confirm optimal performance at scale. Done right, testing upfront significantly de-risks the overall HR software transition.

Transitioning to modernised HR software clearly provides tremendous upside for organisations once deployed successfully. However, avoiding common pitfalls around selection, data migration, training, testing and contingency planning is crucial to realising the full benefits with minimal headaches.